Samuel Redgate, born in Arnold in 1810, has been described as having 'the finest, easiest and most graceful bowling delivery ever seen', which may have lead to his engagement at Eton College in 1840 - he is believed to have been the first professional employed there.

He bowled very fast but could deceptively vary his pace and make the ball swerve. For a period in the 1830s he was considered the most destructive bowler in England.  His best performance was eight wickets for the North of England against MCC at Burton-on-Trent in 1840. He took five wickets in an innings 31 times and 10 wickets in a match 11 times

The great batsman of the day was Fuller Pilch and Redgate was reputed to be his master. On the occasion of their first meeting - in a Gentlemen v Players game - Redgate dismissed Pilch for a pair.

In 1836 he played singe-handedly against the eleven of the Kensington club, Old Radford and beat them - scoring 7 and 17 and bowling his opponents out for 3 and 7!

The last of his 23 matches for Nottinghamshire was played in 1845. His most celebrated bowling feat was for England v Kent in 1839 when in a single four-ball over he dismissed three of the best batsmen of the day – Stearman, Mynn and Pilch. Legend has it that he drank a glass of brandy after each wicket.

Indeed, a note in his biography states, that he was a very festive party-goer and his career was cut short by ill-health. Drink was in fact his downfall and he died aged 41 in Old Radford. 

April 2020